Self-guided Birding Sites

Lesser-known stops for spotting birds in Ontario's Southwest

 

In addition to 17 designated birding hubs, Ontario's Southwest is home to dozens of conservation areas, parks, trails and preserves that have been recognized as excellent destinations for spotting a variety of birds. Experience them for yourself as you explore Canada's South Coast Birding Trail. Click here to see the complete collection of stops mapped along the trail.

PLEASE NOTE: Contact each location to check for availability. We’re preparing for your visit using Ontario’s most up to date COVID-19 guidelines and ask all travellers to do the same before they set out on their trip. LEARN MORE HERE.

Self-guided Birding Sites

Aylmer Wildlife Management Area

  • 10594 Hacienda Rd.
  • +15196314491

Situated on 338 acres (137 hectares) of crown land, the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area provides visitors with many opportunities, including; hunting…

Backus Woods North

  • Norfolk 24
  • 1-866-281-5331

Backus Woods is one of the highest quality old growth hardwood forests in all of Ontario and the best remaining example in the Carolinian Life Zone. The…

Backus Woods South

  • Sugarbush Trail
  • 1-866-281-5331

Backus Woods is one of the highest quality old growth hardwood forests in all of Ontario and the best remaining example in the Carolinian Life Zone. The…

Big 'O' Conservation Area

  • Main St
  • +15193547310

The Big ‘O’ Conservation Area is one of southwestern Ontario’s birding ‘hot spots’. In early May, many species of migratory…

Big Creek National Wildlife Area

  • Long Point Rd
  • 1-800-668-6767

Big Creek National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located on the north shore of Lake Erie, 3 km southwest of Port Rowan, Ontario. It is home to a wealth of wildlife…

Birding In Oxford County

  • -
  • 519-539-9800 x 3355

Oxford County is located within the Carolinian life zone in Canada. Close to 1/3 of the nation's rare and endangered flora & fauna species in this…

Chesney Wilderness Area

  • Oxford Road 29
  • +18669004722

Chesney Wilderness Area is a 93 hectare (230 acre) natural area located in Oxford County east of Woodstock, and just north of exit 250 off Hwy 401 near…

Coppen's Tract

  • Concession Road 4
  • 1-888-231-5408

Part of the proposed Long Point Birding Trail Sites in Norfolk County, this trail offers many opportunities for hikers to view birds and other…

Erieau Pier

  • Mariners Road
  • 1-800-561-6125

The pier is an excellent location to spot a variety of birds that come through this area. Specifically, Warblers including Yellow-rumped, Common…

Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve

  • Pelee Island
  • 1-866-889-5203

Fish Point, on the southwestern tip of Pelee Island, is a 110-hectare Provincial Nature Reserve. It is defined by gently rolling shallow-sand over a…

Fisherville Raptor Preserve

  • 84 Concession Road 6

With over 53 species recorded to date, this area is well known for spotting the Short-eared Owl, Eastern Bluebird, Tufted Titmice, Killdeer…

Gibbon's Park

  • 2A Grosvenor St
  • +15196608731

Located along the beautiful Thames River, Gibbons Park offers an ideal environment in which to walk, jog or bike with friends. Looking for a great spot to…

Grand Bend

  • 77 Main St W
  • 1-888-338-2001

Grand Bend Area vacations are a fabulous mix of outdoor activities, culture, heritage, theatre and culinary experiences! Enjoy Blue Flag Beaches and marinas…

Haldimand Bird Observatory

  • 215 Niece Rd.
  • +18777057275

Established in 1996, Haldimand Bird Observatory currently operates two stations: Rock Point Banding Station (on the north shore of Lake Erie, 215 Niece Rd…

Haldimand Conservation Area

  • 645 South Coast Dr
  • +19057762700

Nestled along the shores of Lake Erie, Haldimand Conservation Area provides campers and day visitors with a quiet place to relax and enjoy the outdoors…

Hastings Drive

  • Hastings Dr
  • +15198424242

Visit this beautiful shoreline to watch wildlife and birds in the famed Long Point area of Southwestern Ontario. 

Hawk Cliff

  • County Road 22

Over the years the Hawk Cliff site has grown in popularity and today it is recognized as one of the prime fall migration hawk watching destinations in North…

Hillman Marsh Conservation Area

  • Mersea Road 2
  • +15197765209

Witnessing migration activity at the Spring Shore and Songbird Festival in May is one of the highlights of Hillman Marsh. The diverse habitats in this area…

Holiday Beach Conservation Area

  • 6952 County Road 50
  • +15197363772

This Conservation Area offers a long sandy beach on the Lake Erie shoreline, plus many other amenities. It is ideal for a day at the beach, a beautiful…

Inner Bay

  • Long Point Rd
  • +15194269497

Long Point Inner Bay is not only an excellent spot for angling and boating, its proximity to Long Point, a major bird flight-path, and World Biosphere…

Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary

  • 360 Road 3 W
  • +15197334034

Hundreds of species of birds have been recorded in the Essex County area, which makes the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary an idea location for birdwatchers from…

Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary

  • 360 Road 3 West
  • +18772898328

Called by some the "father" of North American conservationism, Jack Miner was one of the first conservationists to determine the migratory paths of birds and…

Joany's Woods

  • P.O. Box 25054
  • +15198583442

Joany's Woods is a 148-ha (367-acre) parcel of land located on parts of Lots 17, 18 and 20 and all of lot 19 in broken Front Concession, West Williams Ward…

Keith McLean Conservation Area

  • 18331 Kent Bridge Road
  • +15192453710

The Keith McLean Conservation Lands was officially opened on June 27, 2013. This 130 ha property is famous for its Lotus ponds and includes farmland…

Kettle Point

  • 6247 Indian Lane
  • +15197862125

Kettle Point also known as Wiiwkwedong is part of the Anishinabek Nation. Kettle Point is unceded territory located in southwestern Ontario along the south…

Lake St. Clair-Mitchell's Bay

  • W. Lewis Line

Known throughout the entire Midwest for its great fishing, boating and camping, Mitchell's Bay offers some of the best smallmouth Bass and Pickerel fishing…

Lawson Woods

  • McBeth Rd
  • 1-800-440-2366

The Lawson Nature Reserve’s topography varies from moraine, to grassy meadow, to hardwood swamp. The reserve is home to about 200 plant species…

Leamington Harbour

  • 90 Robson Road
  • 1-888-858-3334

With its close proximity to a world-class birding location in Point Pelee National Park, the Leamington Harbour is an excellent location for bird watching…

Lee Brown Waterfowl Management Area

  • Lakeshore Rd W, RR #3
  • 1-888-231-5408

The Lee Brown Waterfowl Management Area (WMA) offers unique natural features and a bird viewing stand. Note that public access is limited to the viewing area…

Long Point Provincial Park

  • Erie Blvd
  • +15194269497

Long Point Provincial Park is the fourth oldest Provincial Park in Ontario, and offers over 1.5 kilometres of beach along the warm waters of Lake Erie. It is…

McGeachy Pond Conservation Area

  • Erieau Road
  • +15193547310

McGeachy Pond Conservation Area is a 15 hectare property acquired by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority in 1974. Located on the north shore of…

McKeough Conservation Area

  • 940 Holt Line

A 3 km trail winds through a forest just south of the McKeough Dam. This trail goes through a prime Carolinian Forest which supports a large population of…

Ojibway Park & Nature Centre

  • 5200 Matchette Road
  • +15199665852

The newly reconstructed Nature Centre is open seven days a week. There is no charge for admission and the building is accessible to those with disabilities…

Parkhill Conservation Area

  • Centre Rd
  • +15192946333

Each season brings something new along the nature trails at Parkhill Conservation Area. The 800-hectare conservation area is the result of efforts to control…

Pelee Island

  • Pelee Island
  • +18668895203

Come and discover one of Canada's Best Kept Secrets - Pelee Island. The southernmost habited point of the Canada, the Island is home to scenic landscapes…

Perch Creek Habitat Management Area

  • 1892 Churchill Line
  • +15192453710

The Perch Creek Habitat Management Area is owned by the County of Lambton and managed by the Conservation Authority. This 200 acres property includes…

Point Edward

  • 556 Christina St. N
  • 1-800-265-0316

Enviable waterfront parks, beaches and marinas welcome you to Sarnia and Point Edward! This is your perfect getaway – big city amenities without the…

Port Franks Forested Dune

  • 7269 Outer Dr
  • +15194337077

This unique Area of Natural and Scientific Interest forms a diverse coastal dune system featuring a variety of wetland communities nestled amongst a series…

Port Rowan Wetlands

  • Hunter Dr N
  • 519-582-2100 ext. 1118

The trail begins just off of Hunter Drive North, and continues around the Wetlands, with a short loop going out through the restored tallgrass prairie and…

Rock Glen Conservation Area

  • 8680 Rock Glen Rd
  • +15192352610

Rock Glen Conservation Area, Arkona, is a gorgeous, 27-hectare park known worldwide for Devonian-era fossil deposits, its fossil and indigenous artifact…

Ruigrok Tract Conservation Area

  • Caistorville Rd

Ruigrok Tract protects a large tract of interior forest acquired in 1963 and located in the town of Dunnville. It is home to a diversity of tree species…

Selkirk Provincial Park

  • 151 Wheelers Sideroad, R.R. # 1
  • +19057762600

At Selkirk Provincial Park, you can enjoy the Wheeler’s Walk Trail – a boardwalk which crosses marsh wetland. Also available is a grassed…

Sinclair's Bush

  • Sinclair Line
  • +15193547310

Sinclair's Bush is a 46-hectare, significant forest in the Regional Municipality of Chatham-Kent, where forest cover has declined to 3% of pre-settlement…

Skunk's Misery

  • Dogwood Rd
  • +15194337077

Skunk's Misery is one of the largest and most significant forested blocks remaining in the Carolinian Region of southern Ontario.  Located 60 km…

Springbank Park

  • 1085 Commissioners Road W
  • +15196615575

Springbank Park is a 140-hectare (300 acre) park located along a stretch of the Thames River in London, Ontario, Canada. As the largest park in London, it…

Springwater Conservation Area

  • 8079 Springwater Road
  • +15197739037

The Springwater Conservation Area provides 8 kilometres of hiking trails open year-round. A nominal donation of $2.00 per person is requested to help support…

St Clair National Wildlife Area

  • Balmoral Line, RR 1
  • +15193529024

This wildlife sanctuary is a haven for birders. Spring and Fall are the best viewing seasons to see over 180 species. Rarities have included a Snowy Egret…

St. Williams Conservation Reserve

  • Concession Road 6

The St. Williams Conservation Reserve is a 1035 hectare area of Crown land located in Norfolk County, Ontario. It is comprised of two separate locations…

Stone Road Alvar

  • Essex region

The Stone Road Alvar on Pelee Island is designated as a provincially significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). The site is a globally…

Sturgeon Creek

  • 572 Bevel Line Rd

The Sturgeon Creek water body, located off Point Pelee Road 33, is packed with shorebirds – Sandhill Cranes, Yellowlegs, and Killdeer. 

Taquanyah Conservation Area

  • 870 Townline Rd W R.R. #4
  • +19057683288

Located about 5 km west of Cayuga, the Taquanyah Conservation Area and Nature Centre have been a great natural resource to more than 2,000 school children…

Thames River Trail

  • Queen St E
  • +15194512800

Fishing is a popular recreational activity along the entire Thames River and its many tributaries. Numerous docks and access points entice anglers to the…

The Tip of Long Point

  • 350 Erie Blvd
  • 1-800-699-9038

Come explore the Long Point area, and see why this landscape has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve. Bird Studies Canada has…

Tremblay Beach Conservation Area

  • St. Clair Road
  • +15197765209

Tremblay Beach Conservation Area is one of only two marshes remaining on Essex County’s Lake St. Clair Shoreline, along with Ruscom Shores Conservation…

Turkey Point Beach

  • Ordnance Dr
  • 1-800-699-9038

Two miles of groomed sandy beach offer safe swimming for all ages, with ample beach parking available. Fishing, hiking, water sports and golfing are all…

Turkey Point Provincial Park

  • 194 Turkey Point Road
  • +15194263239

Well known for its bird migration, Turkey Point is a naturalist's paradise. Its diverse ecosystem includes marshes, bluffs and oak savanna. Hiking…

Warbler Woods

  • Commissioners Road W
  • +15194512800

Warbler Woods Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is located in west London between Commissioners Road and Byron Baseline Road. It is a good birding area…

Waterford Lake Conservation Area

  • 226 Concession 8 Townsend
  • 1-877-990-9930

A favourite with anglers, the three ponds at Waterford North Conservation Area are home to an array of fish species including largemouth bass, northern pike…

Wawanosh Wetlands

  • 6013 Blackwell Side Rd
  • +15192453710

The Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area is part of a series of continentally important wetlands located in southwestern Ontario. It continues to provide…

Westminister Ponds Park

  • Western Counties Rd
  • +15194512800

At approximately 200 hectares, Westminster Ponds /Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is the largest publicly-owned ESA in London. The ponds…

Wheatley Harbour

  • 4 Talbot Rd W
  • +15198259276

The Wheatley Harbour is located on the north shore of Lake Erie in the Province of Ontario at the western basin about 55 miles east of Windsor, On and…

Wheatley Provincial Park

  • 21116 Klondyke Road
  • +15198254659

Wheatley Provincial Park is Ontario’s “deep south” provincial park – located at the same latitude as Northern California…

Wheatley Two Creeks Conservation Area

  • 21638 1 Kent Rd
  • +15193246988

Located on the eastern side of Point Pelee, Two Creeks enjoys some of the best birding during the spring and fall migrations, and provides a habitat for…

Wilson Tract

  • Concession Road 4
  • 905-318-5367 ext 503

The Wilson Tract is one of several managed forest tracts in the Haldimand-Norfolk area open for public use. By linking this tract with the Rowanwood…